Now here is a speaker that is exactly not what it appears to be, it's not even what the manufacturer makes it out to be for the most part.
JBL's Array series speaker is a big, and to many, ugly piece of furniture which looks like it's going to be full of overwhelming bass and ear piercing treble. But that is so untrue as to be almost criminal.
What the really do have is a great sound with stunning separation and realism. Ok, yes they do have a well endowed bottom end from their huge 14" driver, but it's never more than musical even when it's growling with the sound of a low organ note. Their top end presentation is exemplary. The large horn loaded design gives real insight into the music and yet is never busy or cluttered. There's more than a hint of the ultra stunning K2's about these with their super tweeter hitting the 40kHz mark.
So maybe they're not going to win the award at next years beauty pageant, but that becomes a small side issue once you've heard them. In a Home Cinema format, as JBL advertises them, I'm sure they are simply stunning. However I have to tell you though, if you dismissed them as an audio two channel speaker you'd be missing out greatly.
What is a shock is quite how much we've grown to love them since they arrived. There is a genuine possibility that these could end up in my own home, and trust me on this, I don't say that very often at all.
JBL seems to be going from strength to strength at the moment with their higher end speakers. If this is a product of this new rise then long may it continue.
JBL are 60 years old. There's absolutely no doubt that they have produced (and continue to produce) some absolute milestones in the history of speakers.
Indeed their current top of the range K2 9800 series speakers are reckoned by many to be one of the best speakers in the World. Having heard them and indeed sold them, we would certainly find it hard to disagree with that statement. They are awesome.
However, coming back down to Earth, it's not only the £20k section of the market that JBL can do well. Long term customers of ours will remember the TiK range. A beautifully crafted speaker with incredible dynamics and vast openness. These received no rave reviews and no press standing ovations, but, for the wise Hi-Fi shops (and there were just a few) that took the significant amount of time required to run them in, they found that they were a great all round speaker. In fact better than great. Sadly though, they stopped the manufacture of these over four years ago, and nothing since has quite captured our imagination in the same way.
For it's 60 birthday JBL have decided to produce something special. Something to show off their vast knowledge. Now, most companies would bring out the most expensive speaker that they have ever produced. Full of cutting edge technology in a beautifully crafted cabinet that they would sell for an astonomical price, and they really wouldn't expect to sell more than a few. It would be their statement. And who could have blaimed them.
JBL obviously didn't want to buck this trend. They have bought out the TL260 Celebration. A technical tour de force with a beautifully crafted hand finished cabinet in a luxurious Piano black, and, they sound fantastic.
To read the rest of this review (and you really should) click Here
It could quite easily be concluded that the only good speakers are expensive ones, but this just isn't the case.
Take the new range of speakers from Q Acoustics. Universally well received by the press, but more importantly by the buying public. They offer exceptional value for money, great build and superb sonics right through the range.
The range consists of two standmount speakers and two floorstanding models. They start at just £99.00 for the 1010 models, then £129.00 for the 1020's, £229.00 for the first floorstanding 1030's and £329.00 for the quite frankly stonking 1050's.
They are well built and finished and come in a choice of Graphite Black, Beech & finally Cheery. But they all look good and sound great.
Please form an orderly Q